Something I see often, is that people fear change. I understand it, change is a scary thing. Many of us, and I do include myself, spend a lot of time in our lives building comfortable spaces and ways of being. Change can threaten that. But over the years I have learned something that changed the way I perceive change.
It started with some self analysis of my fear of needles. A common enough phobia, not really one to be embarrassed about, but if you have ever had a stage of life where you required regular blood testing, or had surgery, that needle phobia can really drag you down. So there I was, me, built like an overweight fridge, one time professional wrestler, known to have been involved in a few fights in my teens, and self considered pugilist, but scared of a tiny needle. But if i break it down, what was it that I was really scared of? Examining it closer, I realised that it wasn’t the needle that I feared, I have no problem holding a syringe with needle. It was not the pin prick itself, these pin pricks at worst are not terrible, to be honest, removing the band aid, normally placed after a needle, hurts more than the needle itself as it tears out some hairs when I rip it off. It also is not the post needle outcome, as the purpose is normally either diagnostic or preventative.
With these thoughts, I realised that I was not scared of needles, what I had a fear of was the anticipation of a needle. The knowledge that something was coming, was leading me to a fear that was significantly out of proportion with the actual event. Strangely, once I learned this of myself, the fear of needles went away. In a puff of logic, I managed to remove what had been at one point a significant phobia.
Coming to understand that anticipation of events causes fear that is nearly always out of proportion to any negative experience that may occur, has taught me much about accepting, or even looking forward to change. This, coupled with a strong sense of personal responsibility, is one of the best lessons I have ever learned. Change happens, sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad, but it is always inevitable. Knowing that even if the worst occurs, its unlikely to be as bad as the worst I can anticipate, leads me to no longer dwelling on the anticipation. This frees up my energy to put it into embracing the new, giving it the best chance of having a positive outcome, and in most cases it works.